Antonio Carluccio's Sardinian gnocchi with broccoli

Serves 4

Saturday 17 September 2011 10:08

Another recipe that I have created is based upon the combination of Sardinian gnocchetti, made by the firm Dc Cecco, and greens. It has the advantage of being absurdly easy to prepare. If for any reason you cannot obtain calabrese or broccoli, you can substitute cauliflower, though the former is preferable for the distinct taste and colouring it gives to the sauce.

500g broccoli tips (cooked weight)
60g smoked bacon, finely chopped
4 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
200ml milk
400g Sardinian gnocchetti
A little hot water from cooking the pasta
60g (2oz or 1/2 US cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Clean the broccoli tips, then boil them in some lightly salted water until they are soft (about 12-15 minutes). Drain them, chop finely and then put them to one side. Take quite a large pan and start to fry the chopped bacon in the olive oil. Once it begins to brown, add the slices of garlic, which should not be allowed to colour. Next add the chopped broccoli and the milk and cook for 10-15 minutes over a high flame, stirring every now and again. At the end of this time the broccoli should be reduced to a creamy texture.

Cook the gnocchetti for 12-15 minutes until they are al dente, drain (reserving a little of the water), then pour into the pan with the broccoli mixture, adding the Parmesan, salt and pepper. Add a spoonful or two of cooking water so that the mixture is creamy rather than stiff. Stir well over a moderate flame for a few minutes or so, and serve in warm dishes.

From An Invitation to Italian Cooking by Antonio Carluccio (Pavilion)

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